© 2021 Cincinnati Public Radio
Connecting You to a World of Ideas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

Walter 'Dee' Huddleston, Former U.S. Senator Of Kentucky, Dies At 92

walter "dee" huddleston
Sen. Walter "Dee" Huddleston (D-Kent.), with his wife Jean at his side, re-enacts his swearing-in ceremony with Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, Jan. 3, 1972 in Washington.

Former Kentucky U.S. Sen. Walter "Dee" Huddleston has died at the age of 92. Huddleston was a Democrat who served two terms in the Senate before being unseated by Mitch McConnell in 1984.

In the 1984 election, McConnnell famously deployed a commercial featuring a gaggle of hound dogs that "searched" for Huddleston, claiming that the senator was "missing big votes on Social Security, the budget, defense, even agriculture."

That year, President Ronald Reagan won reelection in a landslide, sweeping Kentucky by more than 280,000 votes.

Riding Reagan's coattails, McConnell ended up defeating Huddleston in deeply Democratic Kentucky by a little more than 5,200 votes.

Huddleston never ran for elected office again, but went on to work as a lobbyist in Washington, and later as chairman of a bank in Elizabethtown.

A longtime resident of Elizabethtown, Huddleston also served as a tank gunner during World War II, was a member of the Kentucky State Senate from 1965 until 1972 and worked as an owner and manager of radio stations across the state.

This story comes from WFPL. For more stories like this, visit wfpl.org now